China Air Pollution

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, China has abundant tourism resources, the vast majority of which are of great renown. However, the number of tourists visiting China declined from 2013, mostly due to its increasingly serious air pollution. Many cities have been adversely affected by hazy weather since the beginning of 2013. This is especially true of central and eastern China’s cities such as Tangshan, Jinan, Zhengzhou, and Xian for example.

It is known to all that the rapid development of China’s economy in the past 30 years resulted in environmental degradation. Nevertheless, the hazy weather records of China in 2013 attracted global attention. It is a pity that as a consequence some foreign residents choose to give up their jobs and life in China.

China Air Pollution Map

As what can be seen from the above map, central China, eastern and south China are the most effected districts, especially the Yangtze River Delta including Shanghai. Not without consequence, this air pollution map is almost the same as the map of China’s population distribution.  The air quality is good in most part of northern and northwest China. Furthermore, the hazy weather has obvious seasonal characteristic, which usually occurs in the autumn and winter.

 

Air Quality Index (AQI)

As the new standard of measurement for air quality, AQI is a quantitative description of the air quality index. The major pollutants involved in the analysis including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), inhalable particles (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO). Here PM2.5 and PM10 are measured in micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3).

According to “Technical Regulation on Ambient Air Quality Index (on trial)”, AQI is divided into six levels in total, with Level one being the best and Level six being the worst.

 

AQI and Health Implications

AQI Air Quality Health Implications
0–50 Excellent No air pollution.
51–100 Good Few hypersensitive individuals should reduce the time for outdoor activities.
101–150 Lightly Polluted Slight irritations may occur, children, and those who with breathing or heart problems should reduce outdoor exercise.
151–200 Moderately Polluted Irritations may occur, and it may have an impact on healthy people’s heart and / or respiratory system, so all people should reduce the time for outdoor exercise.
201–300 Heavily Polluted Healthy people will be noticeably affected. People with breathing or heart problems will lack exercise tolerance. Those patients, children and elders should remain indoors.
300+ Severely Polluted Even healthy people will lack endurance during activities. There may be strong irritations and symptoms. So all people should avoid outdoor activities.
 

Air Quality Rankings of Chinese Major Tourist Cities in January 2017

Rank City Province belongs to AQI Air Quality Level PM2.5 PM10
1 Sanya Hainan 39 Excellent 15 27
2 Haikou Hainan 43 Excellent 21 37
3 Kunming Yunnan 54 Good 30 58
4 Shenzhen Guangdong 54 Good 30 44
5 Lhasa Tibet 56 Good 28 59
6 Xiamen Fujian 57 Good 34 53
7 Guiyang Guizhou 60 Good 41 64
8 Fuzhou Fujian 63 Good 36 56
9 Datong Shanxi 64 Good 39 63
10 Nanning Guangxi 64 Good 63 71
11 Guangzhou Guangdong 66 Good 35 55
12 Guilin Guangxi 79 Good 56 77
13 Dalian Liaoning 81 Good 54 88
14 Baotou Inner Mongolia 85 Good 54 105
15 Hohhot Inner Mongolia 88 Good 60 104
16 Xining Qinghai 89 Good 61 111
17 Chongqing Chongqing 96 Good 70 91
18 Taiyuan Shanxi 97 Good 64 109
19 Lanzhou Gansu 99 Good 66 122
20 Beijing Beijing 99 Good 69 89
21 Changchun Jilin 101 Lightly Polluted 74 109
22 Shanghai Shanghai 103 Lightly Polluted 70 90
23 Suzhou Jiangsu 105 Lightly Polluted 72 99
24 Shenyang Liaoning 105 Lightly Polluted 77 118
25 Yinchuan Ningxia 107 Lightly Polluted 74 118
26 Tianjin Tianjin 108 Lightly Polluted 74 125
27 Yangzhou Jiangsu 108 Lightly Polluted 78 119
28 Chengdu Sichuan 110 Lightly Polluted 80 127
29 Hangzhou Zhejiang 111 Lightly Polluted 80 120
30 Nanjing Jiangsu 112 Lightly Polluted 80 125
31 Changsha Hunan 112 Lightly Polluted 82 102
32 Qingdao Shandong 115 Lightly Polluted 83 130
33 Hefei Anhui 120 Lightly Polluted 88 109
34 Harbin Heilongjiang 128 Lightly Polluted 96 118
35 Wuhan Hubei 144 Lightly Polluted 106 142
36 Xian Shaanxi 157 Moderately Polluted 115 210
37 Jinan Shandong 167 Moderately Polluted 128 196
38 Shijiazhuang Hebei 170 Moderately Polluted 132 196
39 Zhengzhou Henan 196 Moderately Polluted 158 239
40 Luoyang Henan 218 Heavily Polluted 176 246
41 Urumqi Xinjiang 229 Heavily Polluted 182 254

Note: AQI and Air Quality Level may vary day by day; the data here is just average value for reference only.
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